Immigrants In House On Mango Street

April 27, 2022 by Essay Writer

The novel, The House on Mango Street, shows us how hard immigrants from Mexico coming to America are trying to join the community. The novel focuses on the main character, Esperanza’s life and those, especially women, around her. They face all problems: safety, early marriage, physical abuse, sexual assault, being controlled and judged by the men. In the novel, women do what they can to survive and to get a better life. Through these women and Esperanza’s reaction to them, Cisneros shows not only the hardship women face but also explores their power to overcome them.

Esperanza’s life from a child to a teenager is evident in the story. The females in the novel are all trapped in an environment hard to escape by themselves, “Next week she comes over black and blue and asks what she can do?” (Cisneros 85). Here, Minerva’s stressful life is showcased. She is only slightly older than Esperanza, but she already has two kids. Her husband left her and he also used violence on her. These issues lead to Minerva lacking love in her life. For the condition of Minerva, it is her way to get shelter in America and to survive. What she did is simply trying to make her life better. Now she has a bad marriage but at least she can survive in America. In that environment, everyone is trying to find a way out and Minerva used early marriage to get a better life. Women’s problems are terrible and serious. They tried to escape Mango Street and to get a better life. No one really wants such early marriage and has two kids so little, she is just a child.

Here comes Sally, another early married wife, who is forbidden to meet others because her husband doesn’t like her friends. “She sits at home because she is afraid to go outside without his permission. She looks at all the things they own: the towels and the toaster, the alarm clock and the drapes. She likes looking at the walls, at how neatly their corners meet, the linoleum roses on the floor, the ceiling smooth as a wedding cake.” (Cisneros 102). Like Minerva, she is also an early married wife but she is legal. She is afraid of her husband because sometimes he used violence. “She is happy, except sometimes her husband gets angry and once he broke the door where his foot went through, though most days he is okay.” (Cisneros 101). Sally is happy most time. Let’s imagine what if she didn’t get married. Firstly, she won’t be as happy as now. As a young lady, she doesn’t have many abilities to feed herself. At that time, in the poor areas, women had no power to live by themselves. They need to find someone to rely on, that was what Sally did. Secondly, how can she find shelter? From the quote, she and his husband “own” the things now. She finally has a home. Comparing to other girls in Mango Street, Sally was much successful. She got the things she wants, she was happy, she can find a house to live in. However, we can’t compare anything in the House on Mango Street with our life now. It’s crazy if it happened to us. In that poor environment, Sally did what she can to get what she wants, it’s sad but it still shows how hard it women in mango street to try to save themselves.

Next, come to Mamacita. She is the big mama of the man across the street. The man saved his money to bring her here. He works very hard every day from morning to night. That’s interesting because men’s names are not mentioned in this novel. Women are the main characters of the book. Mamacita is also very fat. She has a baby boy too. Mamacita doesn’t usually come downstairs. “Somebody said because she’s too fat, somebody because of the three flights of stairs, but I believe she doesn’t come out because she is afraid to speak English, and this is so since she only knows eight words.” (Cisneros 77). Matematica can only speak eight words, that’s why she doesn’t speak English. There is no explanation on why Mamatica comes to America, but every piece of evidence leads to her husband. Her husband does hard work on his career, he wants to get a better life for himself, his son, and Matematica. He can speak English even it’s not very good but Mamatica speaks poor English. Matematica is afraid of speaking English. She doesn’t want to leave her own country. She doesn’t have any job since she comes to America and she can’t speak English. It’s hard to imagine her life. She must be bored every day because what she can do is taking care of the baby boy. She also told the baby boy, “No speak English English English”. What does that mean if she wants her boy to have a good future in America? She is afraid of moving into a new nation without anyone she knows or the language she speaks. She is hopeless and replies to her husband. She doesn’t really mean don’t speak English, she just doesn’t want her boy to forget the culture they have, the life she experienced before. Although she is too afraid to go downstairs, she still does the big move for her son. Matematica shows her great mother’s love to overcome the English environment.

For Esperanza, the most important thing for her is never to forget to come back for the people in Mango Street. She can never leave this place truly because the memories of Mango Street will never be forgotten. She always remembers to come back for the ones who can’t escape by themselves.


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